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Office Freedom
Office Freedom
  • 2 Minute Read
  • 05th March 2010

Houston City Guide

Population & Landmark…

houstoncityhall_daniel2986-150x150Within a year of its foundation, Houston became the capital of the Republic of Texas, until 1840, when that honour was transferred to Austin. However, that Republic was short lived as Texas joined the Union in 1845.

Houston is a diverse and international city, in part because of its many academic institutions and strong industries. Over 90 languages are spoken in the city. Houston has among the youngest populations in the nation, partly due to an influx of immigrants into Texas.

Houston is now the 4th largest city in the US and the largest city within the state of Texas, covering an area of 1600 sq km and a population of 2,144,491.

Economy…

800px-iss_flight_control_room_2006-150x150Houston’s economy is based on energy, but to a lesser extent than in the early 20’s. The city is an industrial, commercial, educational and financial center.

The city is a very dynamic centre of business, especially in oil and natural gas. However, its economy is still diverse, comprising space and science research firms, universities, leading medical facilities, technology companies, telecommunications and a wide range of other businesses.

Four of the six super major energy companies maintain a large base of operations in Houston. The city ranks second in employment growth rate among the most populous metro areas in the US. In 2006, the Houston metropolitan area ranked first in Texas and third in the US within the category of “Best Places for Business and Careers”.

In 2008, Houston ranked fourth for highest increase in the local technological innovation over the preceding 15 years. In the same year, the city ranked second on the annual Fortune 500 list of company headquarters.

Office Rental Levels…

photo-11118-1-150x150Houston’s commercial real estate market closed the first quarter with optimal conditions for a strong performance in 2008, according to Colliers International’s first quarter 2008 office overviews report.

Houston’s office market continued to benefit from strong job growth driving demand for office space. The total citywide occupancy is 87.7% for all property classes combined, representing an increase from 85.4% at this time last year.

Key suburban office sectors continued to outperform the market’s average with six submarkets posting occupancy levels at 90% or higher in the first quarter, including Woodlands, San Felipe-Voss, S. Main-Medical Center, Galleria/West Loop, Kingwood and Katy Freeway/Energy Corridor.

Houston’s office market posted 496,601 square feet of positive net absorption in the quarter, compared to 380,584 square feet recorded in the first quarter in 2007.

Limited available space, strong tenant demand and an expanding employment base suggest the local commercial real estate sector will once again stand in sharp contrast to a softening national market expected this year.

Transport…

45intoi-10_2-150x150Houston has 2 airport, one that serves international destination and the other that provides non-stop domestic flights to over 30 US cities.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is 22 miles north of the city. It serves over 180 destinations worldwide from five terminals. A shuttle operates a service from the airport to Downtown. William P Hobby Airport is located 10 miles to the southeast of Houston. Regular public buses and a shuttle operate to Downtown.

Rail services with the Sunset Limited links Houston with San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson and Los Angeles in the west. To the east, there are services to New Orleans and Orlando.

Tourism, Attractiveness of the city…

homepage_image_1-150x150The city has a multicultural population with a large and growing international community. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, attracting more than 7 million visitors a year to the Houston Museum District. The city has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District.

Houston’s Major League Baseball team plays at Minute Maid Park, which is anchored by Historic Union Station and boasts impressive architecture and a convertible top to temper weather conditions.

One thing not to miss in Houston is the Space Center, which is the official visitor centre of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

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